Shortly after the launch of Age of Conan, players discovered that female characters did less damage over time than male characters. The reason was that the female attack animations were longer, and the combat mechanics leaned on the animations instead of the other way around (as in many other games). There was a lot of outrage about it, and AoC developer Funcom realized that it would take weeks to correct the bug because of the number of animations that had to be tweaked. It was all patched up ahead of schedule, though.
Click here to read about the discovery of the bug.
Click here to read "Conan's female avatar DPS bug will take weeks to correct."
Mere weeks after the launch of Warhammer Online, Blizzard COO Paul Sams said that about half of the World of Warcraft players who left for WAR had returned to WoW. He said that similar migrations and then returns have occurred with other MMO launches during WoW's lifetime, including Age of Conan, demonstrating the truth of an old saying: the grass is always greener on the other side.
Click here to read about Sams' comments that WAR players were returning to WoW.
Frankly, we're still not sure what exactly is going on with Age of Conan. At first, the game sold extremely well, topping the PC charts, but developer Funcom's stock started spiraling downward in value in the weeks following the launch. Players complained about bugs and other issues, but when Funcom posted its quarterly financial report, indicators of growth suggested things weren't so bad after all. But wait, the schizophrenia continued! Funcom's CEO sold his company's stock, then Game Director Gaute Gotager resigned out of dissatisfaction with the product. Most recently, Funcom has announced that server mergers are coming to the game -- a clear indication that it has, in fact, performed below expectations.
Click here to read about Age of Conan's initially strong subscriber numbers.
Click here to read about Funcom's subsequent stock plunge.
Click here to read about Funcom's positive financial report.
...then click here to read about Funcom's CEO selling his company stock a few days later.
Click here to read about Director Gaute Gotager's resignation.
Finally, click here to read about Funcom's server merger plans.
When we interviewed industry veteran Richard Bartle -- who worked the original MUD -- we weren't expecting a lot of controversy. But when asked about Warhammer Online, he said "I've already played Warhammer. It was called World of Warcraft." WAR fans were outraged, believing their game of choice to be quite progressive (and noting that the Warhammer franchise predates Warcraft), and arguments erupted throughout the MMO blogosphere, primarily between two generations of gamers -- folks who grew up on MUDs and other early games who feel that the industry has stagnated since World of Warcraft set a seemingly unbreakable standard, and folks who are quite happy with the modern MMO formula, and who believe folks like Bartle are gripping the past and refusing to adjust to new trends.
Click here to read our interview with Richard Bartle.
Only a couple of months before Warhammer Online's launch, Mythic bigwig Mark Jacobs announced that major features would be cut from the game in order to make the launch date, including four out of six capital cities and four whole character classes. Would-be players were divided -- some suggested that a more streamlined, polished experience at launch would be superior, while others were frustrated that Mythic was stepping back on its promises, and were afraid that WAR would be a shell of a game at launch.
Click here to read about the features cut from Warhammer Online.